Mårten Snickare | Vortrag
Datum & Uhrzeit: 2023-04-18 16:00
Ort: Akademie der Bildenden Künste München | Akademiestr. 4
Raum: Neubau | Auditorium | E.EG.28


Learning from the Kunstkammer? Colonial Objects and Decolonial Options

Part of the lecture series "Politics of Storytelling"


There is a strong link between colonialism and objects. European colonialism as a whole could be described as an enormous circulation of objects: of producing, trading, purchasing, consuming, exchanging, plundering, collecting, displaying objects. In the early phase of European colonialism, many of these colonial objects ended up in the Kunstkammern of European royalties, aristocrats and scholars. In this talk, Mårten Snickare will take his point of departure in the fact that colonial objects are not only traces of past cultural, aesthetic and scholarly practices. On the contrary, they are highly present as visual, material objects in our museums of today, where they are put in new contexts and incorporated in new narratives. In recent times, colonial objects in Western museums have become a problem and an embarrassment, as reminders of darker sides of European history. They are Das Unbehagen im Museum, to quote the title of an Austrian anthology on postcolonial museology.

How are we to approach these objects today? With what right do we incorporate them in our narratives about the world, and in our hierarchic museum and display system? What might we do with them? What might they do to us? Mårten Snickare will approach these questions from two angles. First, he will take a look at practices and strategies of display, suggesting that we might actually learn something quite specific from the early modern Kunstkammer. Then he will take a closer look at some objects and their situation today, with the premise that these objects deserve a place at the centre of our discussion about the future of museum and display.

Mårten Snickare is Professor of Art History at Stockholm University and Director of Accelerator, an exhibition space at the university where art and research meet. He has published extensively on the Baroque. Last year, he published a book on the entangled histories of colonialism, museums and objects: Colonial Objects in Early Modern Sweden and Beyond. From the Kunstkammer to the Current Museum Crisis (Amsterdam University Press).



Politics of Storytelling is a series of lectures/seminars focusing on politics of storytelling as an artistic research methodology. In particular, the lecture will consider storytelling as a way to rethink and explore different perspectives, voices, entanglement and world-making processes in connection with practice-based artistic research. Storytelling in artistic research is thus intended as a particular mode of engaging with the real world that has a potential to dissolve structured power relationships between subject and object. As Donna Haraway states, “it matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.” Together with the invited speakers, different approaches to practice-based artistic research will be discussed, from material stories, work stories to museum colonial object that takes into account of non-human voices.

Organised and moderated by Prof. Dr. Nicolas Cheng

To register for the lectures/seminars: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*The lecture will be held in English.



Past events:


Caroline Slotte (FI)
Professor of Ceramic Art
Oslo National Academy of the Arts

Magnus Bärtås (SE)
Professor of Fine Arts, head of research and deputy vice-chancellor
Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm

Craig Mcintosh (NZ)
Jewellery artist and Pakeha stone carver, Dunedin